Looking for a birthday party to attend? Plan now to attend the June 25 rededication of Shenandoah National Park, which turned 75 this year.
Park officials have a full day of activities planned to celebrate the park’s original dedication. From 10 a.m. until at least 6 p.m. on June 25 the festivities will be ongoing at Big Meadows along Skyline Drive. And in celebration of this special day, park entrance fees to the park will be waived.
Here's a look at the planned activities:
* “The President’s Own” Marine Band, will begin playing at Big Meadows. The band will begin playing for the audience’s enjoyment at 9:30 a.m. Seating at the performance and ceremony will be limited to the people who reserved tickets. Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization and is the only military organization whose primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States. Today the band is celebrated for its role at the White House and its dynamic public performances.
* Immediately following the Rededication Ceremony, special ranger-presented programs, musical entertainment, and family events will be available to everyone. Special areas will be set up to help visitors learn about Shenandoah’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources, and its partners and surrounding communities.
* On the main stage, visitors will be able to enjoy the sounds of traditional mountain music; songs of the 1930s and 1940s; an eclectic blend of more modern hits; musical arrangements celebrating mountains, including a specially commissioned composition called "Shenandoah"; and an original one act play performed by the Blue Ridge Youth Theater.
* Families can enjoy hands on activities including crafts, donning ranger uniforms, and a traditional hand tool demonstration. These special programs, which will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., are free and do not require a ticket.
For a full schedule of activities, visit www.celebrateshenandoah.org.
“This is an exciting year for the park and our communities," said Shenandoah Superintendent Martha Bogle. "It’s a time to learn about the park’s past; to celebrate where it is today; and to look forward to the next 75 years. I’m confident that working closely with our neighbors, communities, and partners will help protect Virginia’s national park and will bring greater prosperity to the region.
"Through the 75th Anniversary we hope people will be filled with a sense of ownership and pride in their park and their region.”